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NSW inmates have been banned from receiving underwear deliveries after the clothing proved to be a popular method of smuggling contraband into prisons.
Corrective Services NSW provides inmates with basic underwear while in custody, however some offenders organise friends and family to post or deliver brand named briefs to their correctional centre.
A new process, coming into effect on 30 April, means inmates will only be able to acquire additional underwear through the prison ‘buy-ups’ scheme - a grocery list of food and items that inmates can purchase using their wages or money deposited in their account.
CSNSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the move was a smart step to reduce the likelihood of contraband being introduced into correctional centres.
“The delivery of underwear through the Corrective Services Industries buy-ups scheme will allow us to put the items through X-ray screening and seal them in secure containers prior to entering the custodial setting,” Commissioner Severin said.
“We’re not punishing all inmates for the actions of a minority, rather we’re creating a safer environment for staff and offenders, which is our number one priority.”
Assistant Commissioner of Security and Intelligence Mark Wilson PSM said there had been too many incidents where contraband was discovered hidden in parcels of underwear.
“This new process is a win for all involved. We can ensure there are no security issues with the product without disadvantaging the inmates,” Mr Wilson said.
The goods on the buy-up list are nominated each year by Inmate Development Committees at each correctional centre. An affordable underwear brand proved to be the preferred choice among inmates and a variety of trunks in all shapes and sizes will be added to the list.
Inmates can spend up to $100 per week on food items and $100 per month on other grocery items, such as clothing and toiletries. The average weekly spend is about $50.
Buy-ups systems exist in prisons worldwide and generally follow the same operational procedures. Any profits from the buy-up scheme go back into prison operations.
While inmates will also be prohibited from receiving sock deliveries for the same reasons, friends and family can continue to give unframed photographs.